What Constitutes An "Amputation"?

As most of you have heard OSHA has adopted new regulations in regards to reporting fatalities and severe injuries. I have received several questions regarding OSHA’s definition of an amputation in regards to when must an amputation be reported.

OSHA’s definition of an amputation is as follows:

“An amputation is defined as the traumatic loss of a limb or other external body part. Amputations include a part, such as a limb or appendage, that has been severed, cut off, amputated (either completely or partially); fingertip amputations with or without bone loss; medical amputations resulting from irreparable damage; and amputations of body parts that have since been reattached.”

For those of you not familiar with the new reporting guidelines here is a brief synopsis.  

As of January 1, 2015, employers are required to report the following to OSHA:

  • All work-related fatalities- must be reported within 8 hours of the event. This requirement has not changed.
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations of one or more employees- must be reported within 24 hours of the event. Previously OSHA required the reporting of the hospitalization of three or more employees.  
  • All work-related amputations- must be reported within 24 hours.  
  • All work-related losses of an eye- must be reported within 24 hours.

Employers can report these incidents to OSHA via 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), by calling the closest Area Office during normal business hours, or by using an online form that will be available soon.

Only fatalities that occur within 30 days of the work-related incident must be reported. Additionally, the in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye must be reported only if they occur within 24 hours of the incident.

For additional information on these changes and other reporting issues head to the OSHA website and view the OSHA Fact Sheet